‘Zohar’s Nigun is violinist Daniel Weltlinger’s seminal musical project exploring the very essence of the complicated and fractured nature of identity in the 21st Century with all the emotional baggage that that encompasses..get ready for a wild ride!’
Jazz is a music that can blend in with just about any culture, any country or nation or any people’s traditional music – a truly democratic multilingual art form. ‘Zohar’s Nigun’ (literally a song from the depths of one’s soul) is about the reality that is one’s family origins no matter where in the world one is based.
Using the analogy of four Jewish musicians living in multicultural Australia – a land populated some 40,000 years or more by Aboriginal people – the conceptual point of the band is that every human being has a family heritage that they belong to, and what’s more in our time of mass globalisation belong to in many cases outside of the country that they are living in. No one can choose where their parents are from or what their skin colour or ethnicity is – it is an impossibility. It simply is and is beautiful and meant to be.
Devoid of the usual cultural clichés, four guys with Jewish heritage living in Australia present four very different understandings of an ancient yet ever metamorphosing culture and ethnic heritage. Utilising an at times sharp sense of humour and a deep understanding of history and its endless repercussions the band’s music offers an antidote to prejudice and stereotyping when so many voices lacking reason and balance seem to dominate the mainstream media. Shalom!
JOHN SHAND REVIEW JULY 7 2012:
“..Were Daniel Weltlinger’s violin any more fragile in Yerushalayim, it would break just from being listened to. This spell-binding performance opens an album from which Weltlinger has assembled other Australian musicians of Jewish heritage to investigate matters of identiy via a combination of original and traditional pieces.
His violin is joined by Daniel Pliner’s piano, Simon Milman’s bass and Alon llsar’s drums. All four have a keen instinct for extracting essences, rather than dealing in the surfaces of bravura playing. This is in keeping with the album’s theme of sharing the music in a spirit of peace and goodwill rather than cultural parochialism. Minimal notes and beauty of sound are the credo when their work is at it’s very finest.
Often the violin weeps on the shoulder of the other instruments, conjuring that singular emotion for which our language has no word, where sadness and beauty merge.
But that mood is not relentless. Hallel is played with a swagger and a wink, and Ma Nishtana with a sense of manic fun. The other inflection in the music is the lingua franca of improvisation , jazz, with Hinei Ma Tov U Ma Naim having thrilling interplay between piano, bass and drums. The original compositions, meanwhile, stand up amid the traditional. Milman’s Galaktaboureko spawns strong solos, and Pliner’s The Wanderer enchants with its evocation of lonely, peaceful endeavour..”